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NASA's SonicBAT at Kennedy Space Center

Aug 21, 2017 - Sep 01, 2017 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


Summer Sonic Booms at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!

Kennedy Space Center will host the second flight series of NASA's Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence (SonicBAT) project, continuing supersonic flight research initiated at California's Edwards Air Force Base and NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in 2016. SonicBAT helps NASA understand how low-altitude atmospheric turbulence affects sonic booms, produced when an aircraft flies at supersonic speeds.

This upcoming flight series will validate tools and models that will be used to develop future quiet supersonic aircraft, producing a soft thump in place of the loud sonic boom. The first series of SonicBAT flights provided data on sonic booms in a dry climate. The second series will collect data on the humid climate of Florida.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is hosting representatives from the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center who will present on this process in Journey to Mars from August 22 - 29 from 10:00-10:30 am each day.


NASA SonicBAT map


To do this, a NASA Armstrong F-18 will take off from Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility and fly over the coast of Cape Canaveral at an altitude of 32,000 feet. Each designated flight path will exceed the speed of sound and produce a sonic boom. To collect signatures of sonic booms that travel through the turbulence layer, NASA will arrange two microphone arrays on the ground at Kennedy Space Center to collect data. 

NASA is expecting to fly two-to-three times per day, starting August 21 and concluding the end of August or early September, focusing on a targeted minimum of 33 sonic booms. Visitors can not only hear the sonic booms at the visitor complex during August, they can also learn more at a SonicBAT exhibit.


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NASA F-18 SonicBAT

NASA's SonicBAT at Kennedy Space Center

Summer of Mars, June 5, 2017 - September 4, 2017